BW Ideol, Hitachi ABB to Develop Floating Substations

BW Ideol and Hitachi ABB Power Grids have partnered to develop scalable floating substations for floating wind farms.

The substations will consist of BW Ideol’s shallow-draft floating platforms and transformers, switchgear and other high-voltage products specially developed by Hitachi ABB Power Grids.

“We are accelerating the delivery of a market-ready floating substation offering and solution via this unique collaboration”, said Paul de la Guérivière, Chief Executive Officer of BW Ideol. “Supported by the solid offshore experience of our strategic investor BW Offshore, the collaboration will be able to deliver fully integrated technical and financial solutions.”

The companies said this would support development of profitable commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms with high-capacity wind turbines.

The floating substations will also be able to be implemented with bottom-fixed wind farms, where they would mitigate challenging seabed conditions and/or challenging offshore installation operations, according to the partners.

“We are delighted to be partnering BW Ideol to provide a single solution that helps offshore wind power developers and independent power producers enter deeper waters”, said Alfredo Parres, Head of Renewables at Hitachi ABB Power Grids.

Earlier this month, Hitachi ABB Power Grids launched a portfolio of transformer products for offshore floating applications, saying they were designed to overcome the challenging offshore environment and withstand the physically demanding conditions on floating structures.

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So far, only a small fraction of offshore potential has been exploited, as in many areas the seabed is not suitable and depths of 60 metres are not feasible for fixed structures.

Floating substations and floating wind turbines offer a solution, which can be used in deeper waters, vastly increasing the available global capacity for developing offshore wind energy, according to Hitachi ABB Power Grids.